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Question Travel to Lake Crackenback from Melbourne Airport

Discussion in 'Snow Talk' started by Aratrail, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. Aratrail

    Aratrail First Runs

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    Hi Guys
    First time poster.

    Found this forum whilst researching the 3 night Lake Crackenback mini break we’re doing in last weekend in October.

    Forgive us, but we are not skiers.... yet, so just dipping the toe into an altitude stay. There’s myself, wife and 2 young teenage boys.

    Planning on driving up in a 2010 Subaru Forester (constant 4wd, standard road tyres) , leaving very early on Friday morning (say 7:30am but is flexible), straight up the Hume as we are living in the NW Melbourne suburbs near the Tullamarine airport.

    Stop off along the way for some breakfast probably at Glenrowan or Wangaratta where I might fuel up. If don’t get fuel there, we’ll get it at Corryong where we’ll stop again. That should take us about 5 allowing for the couple of stops , so it should be about 1pm when we’re arriving Corryong.

    Onwards, I was hoping to try and squeeze in a visit to the Man from Snowy River museum and also a tour of the Murray 2 Power Station as long as I can organise with the area supervisor.

    I’ve read a few other threads here regarding travel times and road conditions, specifically Alpine Way and was hoping for some expert advice relating to period we’ll be there ie last weekend in October.

    In particular:
    1. Road conditions / likelihood of snow on Alpine Way between Khancoban and Thredbo.
    2. Would there be any snow visible on the peaks at that time of year
    3. Real world travel time between Khancoban and Thredbo if we didn’t stop off along the way.
    4. Interesting places to stop off along the Alpine Way
    5. Likely daily temperatures in last week of October
    6. Places to see and things to do on the 2 full days were are there (Saturday and Sunday)
    6. Would anyone recommend a return drive or return via Bombala / Cann River, acknowledging this is the longer way home.

    I’d prefer to arrive at Lake Crackenback prior to sunset which will be around 7:30pm.

    I know my question isn’t snow related but hopefully you guys can help.
     
  2. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    1 Road is sealed, a bit windy and unlikely to have snow (although anything is possible).
    2 There will be snow visible on the peaks. There is a thing called Scammells Lookout on the Alpine Way which will give you great views of the western faces, as will Geehi Flat.
    3 Khancoban to Thredbo is about 1 1/2 hours - maybe a tad longer.
    4 For views, Scammells and Geehi as above. There are permanent mobs of roos on Geehi Flats and Tom Groggin camping area.
    5 Brisk in the evening. Warm during the day. But expect anything - I have experienced snow in January a few times.
    6 Ride the Thedbo chairlift and walk to the ummit (Around 12 km return). Walk to Blue Lake - a proper glacial lake.
    Second 6 It's a pretty part of the world.
     
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  3. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Also 6 - Yarrangobilly Caves are limestone caves with all the usual, and there is a thermal pool there. Kiandra on the way is an abandoned gold mining town with a few artefacts and buildings left.

    Have a look here
     
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  4. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Alpine Way is unlikely to cause you any problems at that time of year (but you never know)

    anyone know if it possible to pick up snow chains in Khancoban and drop them off in Jindy, if the weather proves to be a bit finicky?

    If weather confitions are good, stop in at Thredbo on the way through and there may still be snow on Friday Flat, but if not, then come back another day and catch the Kosci chairlift up tot he top ($25 each) and there will be plenty of snow still around (make sure you dress for it, it will still be very cold on the chairlift)
     
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  5. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    In the very, very unlikely event of the weather being that bad just extend the drive along the Hume and come in through Yass, Canberra, Cooma and Jindabyne. It would have to be October storm of the century particularly as you are driving a Subi. Otherwise it sounds like a lovely trip away. The Cann River drive is nice, but longer as you say. I'd see how the tribe is handling the holiday. Sometimes the quickest way home is the best at the end of a trip.
     
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  6. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    My first trip ever to the snow back in 1994, never having driven on snow, we rented a (VR) Commodore, and drove over the Alpine Way from Thredbo though to Falls Creek, on chains all the way to Khancoban, and I may be wrong but I believe a lot of the road was dirt back then? Was a huge experience back then and help to cement my absolute love for snow.

    So I'd suggest, if the weather has done the uunexpected, pack some chains and don't go the cheats' boring way and experience what it is there for
     
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  7. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    @gareth_oau yes that was a Commodore not a subbie and not late Oct either.

    OP please do not stress about chains they will not be needed.
     
  8. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    exactly my point - if it can be done in a 94 commodore, then a subie will be fine.

    However, if it does dump (and let's not forget that it did snow on Christmas day only a few years ago!!), then chains can be hired. Yes?
     
  9. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Chains won't be needed.
     
  10. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    To the OP. gareth_ohau is doing a very good imitation of a headless chook. He can be ignored.
     
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  11. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    and Legs Akimbo is being a twat (as usual).

    I didnt say chains will be needed.

    Of course you never read what is actually typed.

    I said chains can be rented in Khancoban if it does choose on that rare occasion to snow - no need to completely change plans and drive via "Adelaide" as suggested:rolleyes:
     
  12. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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  13. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    As a Subaru driver he will not need chains.
     
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  14. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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  15. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think it’d have to be Armageddon or the fallout of a massive meteorite strike to get enough snow to need chains in late October. Especially in a Subi.

    In all the years of ski season driving I havent had to fit chains yet....I’m sure the day will come but it hasn’t yet. And I’ve driven in some decent storms. Granted I could’ve done with fitting them for the 50m or so to leave my accomodation one year, but I just squirrelled it out until we got onto Friday drive which was fine.
     
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  16. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    and yet whenever I drive up in snowy conditions, its always the 4WDs that or off the road in a gully.

    does being a "Subie" driver make you god's gift to braking?
     
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  17. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    You have a person who is a newbie to the mountains
    You invent a possible need for chains
    The possible need for chains is so remote that any rational mind would dismiss it out of hand
    But for reasons embedded in what passes for your mind you decide to raise the possibility.

    Who is the twat?
     
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  18. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've quoted what I said - you are just looking for an internet fight as usual
     
  19. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Shoosh you two please.:)
     
  20. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    No. I am making sure that the OP is not worried needlessly. I don't know what you are doing.
     
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  21. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ok, here's the thing I was trying to avoid saying.

    The possibility of needing chains in late October is so remote that no, the OP will not easily rent a pair.

    I didn't want to spell it out because you have now put it in their head that they may need them. And as a newbie they potentially will freak out.

    OP you will be fine.
     
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  22. Barras

    Barras Addicted

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    Hope this helps

    1. Doubt it very much, usually there is only snow on the road for about the last 5 ks from Thredbo during the ski season
    2. Yes, hopefully you might be able to seem some from Scammells lookout but if not once you get past dead horse gap you should be able to see some on the hill
    3. Usually takes me 60 - 70 minutes
    4. Power station, Scammells lookout, Geehi Flats, Pilot Lookout
    5. Around 14 degrees
    6. With the walks there will be snow over most of the higher tracks
    7. I sometimes come back that way, just for the different scenery, but it is only 6 minutes longer for me.
     
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  23. Aratrail

    Aratrail First Runs

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    Finally found time to respond.

    Thanks to all who provided replies and noting that a couple of you like to debate certain aspects.:thumbs:

    Headed out about 9:15am last Friday 25/10 and rolling into Glenrowan at about 11:30 for a breakfast sausage roll and coffee. Filled up at the BP 2min out of town before hitting up Wangaratta Kmart and KFC for some cheap runners for my youngest and early lunch.

    Made it to Beechworth at 1:00pm for some over priced honey and a good stretch of the legs before the long haul to Corryong arriving at 3:00 via Yackandandah, Kiewa, Tangambalanga and Talangatta. Another stretch of the legs before turning right onto the Murray Valley Highway through to Khancoban. Past Khancoban and the Alpine Way looked like any other road in the forrest so no biggie. Stop off at the Murray 1 Power Station at 4:10 for some happy snaps from the verge as the viewing car bays were fenced off temporarily for tree lopping works.

    So far to this point, the weather was fine, but once past this point it turned rather feral with continual lightning and rolling thunder ensuring there was not a moment of respite from screaming passengers. It made for an interesting drive. Happy to report no snow on the road.

    Up to Scammells lookout for our first good look at the white capped ranges before heading to Threbo Village for only a drive through.


    Alpine Way is sealed all the way, I found a little bit of tree/foliage litter strewn across the tarmac, probably due to the heavy winds the day before and earlier that day. Noticed, not a lot of line markings along the edges and definitely a lot of centre line marking is missing.

    Lake Crackenback perimeter was breached at 6pm, still plenty of daylight which was my aim. Mission accomplished.


    Saturday, we went to Cooma for a view of the Snowy Scheme before heading back to Jindabyne for some lunch after which we decided to head up to Charlotte Pass. Drive to the Park entry was fine, nice and dry and sunny. Paid our $17 to get in with the advice the road was covered in snow well before Smiggin Hole. This was going to be interesting.

    Sure enough, the road and verges were blanketed in about 3-5 cm of snow from about Sponars Chalet onwards. We stopped off a few times at some of the parking/chain bays for some pics and snow fights, tobogganing on some plastic sheets. Kids having a ball. Missus doing Ok trying to keep the kids dry but to no real avail.

    Massive snow flurries all over the place, Smiggin covered, Perisher was completely covered. All the paddocks either side, chalets and car park in fresh cover. We made it to about Perisher Gap before the screaming got too much for my delicate ears and decided to pull over. Time was about 3:15. A few other vehicles did the same whilst some continued on. Pity we weren't one of them. Turning around we made our way through some even heavier snow flurries and wind, down and out but not before stopping again for some tobogganing.


    Sunday, was magic. Sunshine 100%. Hit the Archery, golf, mountain bikes, pool, segways at Lake Crackenback resort. Great times.

    Went back up to Perisher in the afternoon and all the snow was gone so we continued up to Charlotte Pass and parked up there alongside some other vehicles. Plenty of snow remaining up there with the views along the high plains up to Mt Kosciuszko pretty breathtaking. The paths and walks beckoned me, but unfortunately they will need to wait.



    Monday was moving day, and decided to go the long way home via Jindabyne, Barry Way then on to The Snowy River Way through Beloka, Dalgety, the Windfarm and turning right onto the Monaro Hwy into Bombala where I had to reverse diagonal park like the locals. A bit of a stretch of the legs only and onto Cann River for a coffee break.



    Long stretch to Lakes Entrance for lunch and then through the usual towns without stopping all the way home. Day started at about 8 finishing up at 5:30 at home. Great run all the way, No traffic. Subie averaged 8.1litres/100km on the way home after filling up at Jindabyne in the morning and again on the freeway service centre at Officer.

    Great little trip. Lots of highlights.
    Thanks for the tips.
     
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  24. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great pics and report, @Aratrail ! Lake Crackenback is certainly a magical place to stay, and you struck it lucky with the snow.
     
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